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F-4F 37+11 lifts off from HopstenPhly-out at Hopsten

Dirk Voortmans was at Hopsten to wave goodbye to the base's F-4F Phantoms

Because of the imminent closure of Hopsten air base in 2006, it honoured 'Fluglehrzentrum F-4' one final time on 15 December 2005. Several visiting units arrived in the morning for the official 'goodbye' ceremony, including Belgian Armed Services' F-16BMs, Luftwaffe F-4Fs from Wittmundhafen, and several Tornados from Schleswig, Nörvenich and Büchel. CH-53s from Bentlage also paid their last respects to Hopsten with several formation fly-bys.

A Belgian delegation was present with two F-16BMs (FB-15 and FB-24) - this was the only foreign unit that showed up at Hopsten. Disappointingly the expected Dutch F-16s and Swiss F/A-18s did not show up.

Although there was no public access to the base, lots of aviation enthusiasts turned up at the fence to see Hopsten's F-4Fs one last time. Around 15:20 six F-4Fs started up their engines and performed several formation fly-bys - within the formation was JG 72's beautifully painted F-4F 37+11, its colour scheme designed especially for the Hopsten fly-out ceremony.

The remaining aircraft at Hopsten will go either to Wittmund for continue flying, or to Jever to be scrapped.

Belgian AF F-16BM Tornado Tornado Puma CH-53G Tornado Tornado
EC 135 F-4F 37+11 F-4F Smokin'! F-4F formation F-4F formation 37+11 deploys the chute for the last time at Hopsten


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